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Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

Iran 2008 92 mins. In Persian with English subtitles

One of Kiarostami’s most daring formal experiments turns the camera on the audience. Set entirely in a movie theater showing an adaptation of a twelfth-century poem by Nezami Ganjavi— never actually glimpsed but heard throughout—Shirin surveys in a succession of close-ups the reactions of those raptly watching the tragic love story, an audience made up of more than 110 actresses, including Juliette Binoche (who would later star in Kiarostami’s 2010 film Certified Copy). The result is a masterful study of spectatorship and the affective power of cinema. (Janus Films)